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were immersed in liquor. After Cyrus, his son became a drunkard: the nation degenerated, and eventually fell.
As early as the time of Homer, wine was in use among the Greeks; but that it was not the common beverage of the people we learn from the following passage in the Iliad, lib. vi. 258. It is there called “pedindɛa oivov, wine sweet as honey :" and Hector's mother, finding him fatigued, advises him to pour out a libation of this wine to the gods, and then to drink of it himself. The hero replies, "Venerable mother, bring me not the sweet wine, lest thou enervate my limbs, and I forget to be courageous and valiant." Here we have three facts:-1st, That the wine was as sweet as honey, and therefore was not charged with alcohol. 2dly, That it was drugged, or it would not have produced forgetfulness. Of this drugging we have spoken already. 3dly, That it was not in general use. For, if it had been drunk in common as a beverage, producing all the wonderful effects attributed to strong drinks in our day, Hector would not have rejected it as a liquor which would destroy both the strength of the body and the courage and energy of the mind. And if Hector dreaded lest wine should make him a coward, we may be sure that he did not administer it to his troops. That wine was used by the ancients on festal occasions, and in libations to the gods, we do not deny; but that it was deemed enervating, rather than invigorating, and was not the common drink of the people, is placed beyond the shadow of a doubt. Both Homer and Virgil often describe the people by the river whose water they drank. The Trojans, at the foot of Mount Ida, "drank of the deep river Aesepus." And we are told of those who" drank of the Fabaris and the Tiber."
As late as the time of Alexander, we find that total abstinence was recommended by physicians, even to that sensual monarch. Pliny says, lib. xiv. cap. 5, “ that Androcydes, who was a physician, sapienta clarus,' distinguished for wisdom," writing to Alexander and desiring to restrain him from intemperance, said," Remember, O king, that when you are about to drink wine you are going to drink the blood of the earth, cicuta homini venenum est, cicuta vinum. Hemlock is poison to man, and wine is hemlock.'” Solomon too says, 66 It biteth
like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder." He also recommends total abstinence to kings. "It is not for kings, O Lemuel; it is not for kings to drink wine, nor princes strong drink." Had Alexander taken the advice of Androcydes, or followed the abstinence of Hector, he might long have enjoyed the fruits of his labors: but he drank wine, killed himself, and destroyed his empire. We have seen that the wines of those days were weak, and yet even then total abstinence was recommended by physicians. Xenophon has given us a fact which proves that Greek wines were not strong: He says that when in Anatola "the wine froze in their vessels;" a plain proof that they were not charged with alcohol, because alcohol will not freeze. These wines, then, were sweet, would freeze, were drunk diluted with eight times their quantity of water, and yet, even then, among the ancient Greeks, total abstinence was recommended. Homer says, "the gods did not drink wine,” and adds, "therefore they are immortal ;" a plain proof that, in the estimation of the poet, wine drinking and mortality were associated together, and that total abstinence, immortality, and glory, were intimately connected.
We have already seen that the ancient Romans did not drink wine. Gibbon observes, "that in the age of Homer the vine grew wild in Sicily and the neighboring shores, but no wine was made from it." Pliny asserts that wine was not used by the ancient inhabitants of Italy. He says that "Romulus poured out milk, and not wine, as a libation to the gods ;" and that it was necessary to make laws to compel the husbandmen to cultivate the vine. Even in the days of Pliny milk was offered to the gods as commemorative of the custom of their fathers. We know that wine was afterwards popular in Rome, and, although those drinks were very different from ours, the people drank of them largely; and Rome followed Babylon, Persia, and Greece, in the road to destruction. Where are the Romans now? And who does not know that drinking and sensuality hurried them to ruin? Besides wine the Romans had a liquor made from barley.
Among the ancient Britons, mead, a drink made from honey, was esteemed a great luxury; but we know not at what age it
began to be manufactured. Intoxicating liquors were not in general use in the time of Boadicea, for in an eloquent speech to her warriors, a. D. 61, she says, “To us every herb and root is food, every juice is our oil, and every stream of water our wine." Wine was made in Britain about A. D. 280; and, at one time, vineyards began to spread so fast, that the farmers bitterly complained that the ground, which ought to bear corn, was thus wasted. French wines, from the reign of Henry III., appear to have gradually abolished our English vineyards.
Ale, or barley wine, was introduced about the fifth century, but at that time it was very costly. A cask of spiced ale, measuring only nine palms, was sold for £7 10s., and a cask of the same size, of common ale, was valued at £3 15s. Mead also was very dear. These prices prove that these beverages at that time could be purchased by none but the rich; the common drink of the people, therefore, at that period, must have been water. Even as far onward as the thirteenth century, we learn that ale was a luxury confined chiefly to the banquets of the wealthy. At this period, also, we find hypocras—wine mixed with honey; claret, also, was wine mixed with honey; and pigment, a drink composed of honey, wine, spices, &c.; but all these were very dear. In the course of time, however, malt liquors, in the various forms of beer, porter, ale, Burton, &c. began to be used more generally. The court, and the monasteries, and the baronies, seemed to vie with each other in obtaining and administering every description of intoxicating drinks; and the corruption of the people, together with an incalculable amount of disease and death, have been the dreadful result, the history of which, in every age, has been written in lines of blood. The discovery of alcohol, in the ninth century, and its being eventually brought into general use, seemed to promise to the god of wine the entire immolation of the whole human family. Before distillation brought out the desolating fiend in all his mightiness to destroy, the insidious spirit, concealed in the fermented juice of the grape, in solutions of malt, in decoctions of hellebore, opium, or other deleterious drugs, had carried on the work of crime and death for centuries; but now, arrived at maturity, and no longer diluted, or associated with any thing that
could nourish the human frame, or that could not be converted into its own venom, the demon, in all the fury of the dragon of the Apocalypse, fell upon us without mercy. Millions have perished already by its poison, and never was the country more active than at present in hastening its own corruption and ruin. Should total abstinence fail to accomplish the great object proposed, and should the desolating plague still continue among us, then in the downfall of Babylon, Nineveh, and Rome, we may read the doom of our own country.
I shall not conclude this chapter without observing that many ancient pagan writers attribute to the use of wine, follies, diseases, and crimes, similar to those which flow from drinking in our own day. Horace speaks of those poets who borrowed their inspirations from drinking, but intimates that the effusions which came from the wine-cask were not destined for immortality. One of the most immoral poems of modern times was written by a great genius under the excitement of gin-and-water. Horace makes himself merry at the expense of those heroes and orators who obtained all their valor, wisdom, and eloquence from the drunkard's bowl, and suggests that "coward and fool” were, after all, their proper appellations. Aristotle tells us that head-aches, pleurisy, fevers, dropsies, fluxes, &c. were in his time the concomitants of wine-drinking. Pliny enumerates the same diseases, and a host of others, that followed the use of wine in his day; and adds that, by the use of strong drinks, the mind as well as the body was injured; "sapientiam vino obumbrari-Wisdom is darkened by wine." He also says, "Vitio damus homini, quod soli animalium, non sitientes, bibimus-We allow that it is one of the vices of mankind, that we alone of all the animals drink, when we are not thirsty." Certainly the ox and the ass, stupid as they are, have not as yet been silly enough to follow our example.
The following testimony of Philo, who was contemporary with the apostles, is very important and impressive. He says that "God prohibited the priest who approached his altar from drinking wine for four reasons:"-1. Because wine produced "OKVOS, sluggishness of body." 2. "Anon, forgetfulness.' 3. 'Aḍpoσvvn, rashness or infatuation." 4. “Yπvos, drowsiness or
sleep." He adds, "Wine unnerves the vigor of the body, makes the limbs inactive, produces sluggishness, and, by its force, compels us to be overwhelmed with sleep; that it relaxes or unbridles the energy, Tovous, tones or intentions of the mind, and is the cause of forgetfulness, rashness, or folly. On the other hand, the limbs of those who totally abstain are nimble and active, their senses more acute, clear, and discriminating; their minds more sharp-sighted and perspicuous, either to review the past or contemplate and provide for the future; therefore it is universally agreed that the use of wine, as an article of diet or sustenance, is most injurious to all persons; that it fetters the mind, blunts the senses, burdens the body, and indeed leaves not a faculty of the soul or body free and untouched, but becomes an impediment and fetter to every power we possess. And, as it is of the utmost importance that we should engage in divine ordinances with energy and freedom, and as a sin against God is much more heinous than a sin against man, the injury which wine inflicts on us when we enter on sacred duties is proportionably great; consequently it was most properly ordained that total abstinence should be observed by the priests who ministered at the altar of Jehovah, that they might be able to distinguish between things sacred and profane, things pure and impure, things lawful and unlawful.” Philo-Jud., lib. ii. De Monarchia. Doubtless the wine here referred to was mixed with various opiates.
The reader will observe that, in the latter clause of this quotation, Lev. x. 10, is alluded to, and contains the very reason which God assigned why Aaron and his sons should drink neither wine nor strong drink. The whole passage also shows that bodily weakness, mental imbecility, irresolution, folly, rashness, sluggishness, and irreverence of God and divine things, were in those day the effects of drinking these drugged wines. If Pliny, Aristotle, or Philo, had visited our modern madhouses, hospitals, and dissecting-rooms; had they attended Mr. Buckingham's Committee on Drunkenness, or been acquainted with modern analyses of intoxicating liquors, or been trained in the school of tetotalism, they could not have spoken more decidedly concerning the evils arising from the use of inebriating drinks.